"I smoked cannabis", admits drugs minister

By Lunar Loops · May 17, 2006 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    I am almost apologetic for posting this as it is a bit of a non-news item really. They might as well have said 'minister drank alcohol whilst a student'. These sort of stories are pathetic (and in all likelihood far from the truth of the matter)....it's all gone a bit Clinton. This is from the Daily Mail in the UK:

    'I smoked cannabis,' admits drugs minister
    15:53pm 16th May 2006

    A new drugs minister has admitted smoking cannabis, it emerged today.

    Vernon Coaker said he had had "one or two puffs of marijuana" while a student at Warwick University. The Home Office minister, who was handed his new role on May 5, denied taking hard drugs.

    He told the Coventry Evening Telegraph: "When I was a student, I took one or two puffs of marijuana but that was it. I think it was once or twice."
    Mr Coaker told the newspaper he had not enjoyed the experience and decided not to do it again.
    The MP for Gedling praised the efforts of drugs workers in Coventry during his first official visit in the role.
    The minister with responsibility for drugs policy was visiting the city as part of a nine-month nationwide tour to see how the Government's Drug Strategy is affecting communities.
    A Home Office spokeswoman said: "The minister briefly tried cannabis at university in the 1970s on one or two occasions.
    "This is clearly a very long time ago, when he was a student. The minister has been open about his past experiences and is fully committed to taking forward the Government's drugs strategy." A former Government whip, Mr Coaker's previous jobs include stints as parliamentary private secretary to Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and to former Education Secretary Estelle Morris.

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  1. Sitbcknchill
    I would have to agree with you that this story is pathetic.....they can't find anything else to do......

    For one you know as well as I do that the dude took more than "one or two puffs of marijuana"...lol...you know that dude was smokin down in college...

    And for two who really gives a rats ass....I mean why would people even bother with shit like this...the dude smoked a little in his past....big deal..

    I miss Bill
  2. The Doors
    Who really gives a damn if someone smoked weed before. I wonder if some of the general public actually believe this "i took a puff or two, once or twice in my life" crap. Shows how much importance they put into meaningless actions.
  3. grandbaby
    Pretty funny, though: I think the reason it's news is because he's the drugs minister, right? Like, the Minister of Highways wouldn't make the paper unless he'd taken to the streets on a bike in protest about how we drive too much...

    "Once or twice" is a dead giveaway: the guy was a raging 'head. Or at least a regular user. If you had only smoked pot once or twice, each instance would be emblazoned into your skull and you'd be able to pull out the exact number. Believe me, I remember every cigarette I had (all four of them) up to age 17, when I started smoking (filthy habit, lousy chem).

    I'd like to chastize him for his hypocrisy, but honestly, when you've been a party whip and ministerial secretary (among other less glamorous jobs) and the boss hands you a portfolio, you're not going to turn it down.

    (And if the papers will get off his case, maybe he could be pressured to agitate for a little change.... nah, he's from the country :))
  4. Lunar Loops
    Interesting viewpoint from today's Guardian:

    The truth about politicians and drugs (almost)

    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Michael White
    Thursday May 18, 2006
    The Guardian

    It's easy to laugh at Vernon Coaker MP, at 52 the new Home Office minister in charge of drugs policy, a man who this week admitted "one or two puffs" on the illegal weed when a student at Warwick University in the 1970s. It seems that no politician who ever confesses to involvement with drugs, however deep in their past, did so for any reason other than curiosity, or did anything but vomit immediately afterwards.
    But it is a braver confession than you might imagine. Remember, anyone you ever quarrelled with in student politics or anyone who wants to sell you out to the tabloids will be groping through a haze of dope hoping to recall that it wasn't one or two puffs at all. It was three or four. Or 40. Or possibly that you supplied the entire faculty of arts.
    The details don't matter. Once the Daily Beast has got hold of a discrepancy, then you - or Vernon Coaker - can cheerfully be denounced as a hypocrite. It is only prudent to confess to whatever drink, drugs, motoring, sexual or other criminal/moral trangression you can think of before the Moral Police confess on your behalf. You hope there's an alternative? Think Mark Oaten and shudder.
    David Cameron, George Osborne and half the shadow cabinet, including brainy Oliver Letwin, have all fessed up to the odd toke or six. Just think how clever Letwin might have been if he hadn't abused that throbbing beast that is the Letwin brain! Most famous of all, Bill Clinton smoked but did not inhale, a claim that made potheads around the world smile, though it may even have been true.
    But just say it isn't, and that, in fact, the diligent politician of today was an indolent pothead in her youth. Why not confess it? The truth is, politicians seeking elective office in the Anglo-Saxon tradition (the French are both more tolerant and less elected) remain wary of acknowledging classified drugs, even 40 years after the 60s made this an issue for an up-and-coming generation.
    In theory, laid-back voters would applaud candour. In practice, there are probably more voters who take the question of drugs much more seriously. They may, quite unreasonably, blame you for their offspring's problems - or even their own. Why not? They blame politicians for most things nowadays.
    Trangression has always been around in politics: where to draw the ever moving line? If voters like you, they put up with a lot. When Disraeli heard that his rival, Palmerston, might be cited in a paternity case, he wanted it kept secret lest Pam (who was 80) sweep the country. As a Welsh nonconformist, Lloyd George despised boozers like his Liberal rival, "Squiffy" Asquith. Wives, on the other hand, were fair game. Churchill ate, drank and smoked like a trooper. Patricia Hewitt would be appalled. The truth is that many voters expect their politicians to behave far better than they do themselves. It's called a good example.
  5. old hippie 56
    At least they are somewhat honest about their drug use, swim would like to see the same thing in Washington. That will be the same day they start giving out jackets in hell.
  6. enquirewithin
    Very easy to laugh at him! I bet he didn't inhale either!
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